§ 77. Mr. BANFIELD
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the resentment felt by the large body of pedal cyclists, numbering some 10 millions, against the restrictions imposed upon their use of the roads by recent regulations; and whether he will give an assurance that there is no intention of making the use of cycle paths compulsory upon pedal cyclists or further restricting the exercises of this law-abiding section of the community?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I have to inform the House that nearly a fifth of those killed on the roads are pedal cyclists and a quarter of those injured on the roads are pedal cyclists. I have also to inform the House that the increase in the number of pedal cyclists killed in 1933 as compared with 1928 was 96 per cent., and the increase in the number of pedal cyclists injured 100 per cent., whereas the corresponding figures for pedestrains were only 8 per cent. and 16 per cent. 1282 respectively. Indeed, of the total in- crease in the number of persons killed in the last year as compared with the first, the deaths of pedal cyclists accounted for 62 per cent. and the injuries for 54 per cent. The House will therefore appreciate that pedal cyclists constitute a major part of the problem of road accidents, and I am confident, in view of the facts, that the House will sustain me in taking all measures that may be practicable to circumscribe the present perils, particularly when such measures add to the convenience of the pedal cyclists themselves.
Lieut. - Colonel CHARLES Mac- ANDREW
Does not my hon. Friend think that until it is made compulsory for cyclists to carry rear lights these enormous fatalities must continue, as motorists cannot see the cyclists before they pass them at night?
Is the Minister aware that in thousands of cases when cyclists have been killed they have had rear lights, and does not he also consider that it would be far more useful to segregate the speed merchants than the harmless cyclists on the road?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
This question, of course, has nothing to do with rear lights, but, if cyclists were provided with their own tracks, it would have the effect of segregating motorists also.
§ Captain CUNNINGHAM-REID
Have not these cycling paths been very satisfactory in many countries, including Denmark, Sweden and Holland?
Will not the Minister point out that it is not a question of speed merchants and that sometimes cars are going quite slowly when they kill these cyclists?
§ Sir W. SUGDEN
Will my hon. Friend take knowledge of the specialists who have organised the cyclists of this country and have a greater knowledge of the application of the wheel than any Department in his own office or even the Minister himself?